Moving & Shaking: TEBH Ball, JVS Awards and Magen David Adom receives ambulance donation

June 19, 2017
Left: Jade and Adam Mills were honored with the Community Spirit Award at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills’ Beverly Hills Ball. Right: Carol and Jerry Redston were honored with the Legacy Award. Photos courtesy of Tara McVicar/Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills

Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills’ (TEBH) Beverly Hills Ball on May 17 honored three couples who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place.

At the event on the Reform synagogue’s campus, TEBH recognized Jade Mills, a Coldwell Banker real estate agent, and her husband, Adam, who builds and sells luxury homes, with the Community Spirit Award; attorneys Lilly and David Lewis with the Humanitarian Award; and longtime TEBH members Carol and Jerry Redston with the Legacy Award.

The Beverly Hills Ball is the congregation’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The annual gathering fetes esteemed community leaders.

Jade Mills is Coldwell Banker’s top-ranked global real estate agent, according to a TEBH press release. She is a board member at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center “and has also been honored by the Aviva Foundation for her ongoing support, charitable work and continuous effort to better the foundation,” the release said. She and her husband also actively support the Beverly Hills Unified School District.

Lilly and David Lewis have been members of TEBH for more than three decades and are involved with numerous philanthropic pursuits, including Venice Family Clinic, City of Hope and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Lilly and David Lewis, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Humanitarian Award honorees. Photo by Tara McVicar.

The Redstons have been congregants of the synagogue for more than 55 years and are involved actively in synagogue and organized Jewish life. According to TEBH, they are “the matriarch and patriarch of the many meaningful contributions of three generations of children and grandchildren to the temple.” Carol has served as president of the Beverly Hills chapter of Hadassah, and Jerry has served as president of the brotherhood at TEBH and on the synagogue’s board of directors.

Attendees at the Roaring ’20s-themed event from TEBH included Senior Rabbi Jonathan Aaron, Associate Rabbi Sarah Bassin and Cantor Lizzie Weiss; president Barry Brucker; rabbi educator Adam Lutz; and the synagogue’s executive director, Eric Reiter.

From left: JVS CEO Alan Levey; Steven Hirsh, founder of Strictly Business; Patricia Will of Belmont Village Senior Living; Claudia Finkel, JVS chief operating officer; and John Smith of AvalonBay Communities attend the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) Strictly Business L.A. Awards. Photo courtesy of Jewish Vocational Service

During the 20th annual Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) Strictly Business L.A. Awards Luncheon on June 7, more than 400 corporate and community leaders came together at the Beverly Hilton to celebrate programs and individual leaders committed to reducing poverty.

JVS of Los Angeles, which provides job training and mentorship for people seeking employment, honored Belmont Village Senior Living and AvalonBay Communities for their support of JVS HealthWorks and ApartmentWorks, respectively. Steven Hirsh, honorary vice president of JVS and founder of Strictly Business, received the Founder’s Award.

“This is the most critical and challenging time we have lived in,” Hirsch said, “and that makes our actions and our time so very important.”

Patricia Will, co-founder and president of Belmont Village Senior Living, accepted the JVS Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of her organization. Senior Portfolio Maintenance Director John Smith accepted the JVS Partnership Award on behalf of AvalonBay Communities.

While the awards were the main part of the luncheon, Strictly Business raised $400,000 through an urgent appeal, with proceeds benefiting the work of JVS of Los Angeles. The event featured personal testimonies from JVS clients who have found success in the program and a recorded message from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“JVS has been an extraordinary partner,” Garcetti said, “not only in making sure that we have training in the heart of the city but also looking at how we can improve workforce development.”

Attendees included Culver City Councilman Jim Clarke; Wells Fargo Executive Vice President and JVS board member Steven Sloan; JVS CEO Alan Levey; and JVS chief operating officer Claudia Finkel. NBC4 weatherman Fritz Coleman emceed the event.

— Avi Vogel, Contributing Writer

Melvin and Shandy Small donated an ambulance to Magen David Adom. Photo courtesy of American Friends of Magen David Adom

Melvin and Shandy Small of Los Angeles have donated an ambulance to Israel’s first-responder organization and blood bank, Magen David Adom.

On April 23, about 50 of the Smalls’ family and friends gathered for a dedication of the ambulance at the Skylight Gardens restaurant in Westwood.

“There was not a dry eye to be seen,” Melvin Small said. “All realized the importance that even one additional ambulance can make to the urgent need in Israel.”

The Smalls dedicated the ambulance in memory of Melvin’s late brother, Harold Leo Small, who served as a U.S. navigator and bombardier during World War II in the Pacific theater. He died in Los Angeles more than 50 years ago at the age of 37 from malignant hyperthermia.

A luncheon following the dedication ceremony celebrated Shandy’s 90th birthday.

“She was feted by her beloved Mel, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and recognized as our queen,” Melvin said.

Yossi Mentz and Carolyn Kangavari of American Friends of Magen David Adom, which raises funds and awareness for the nonprofit medical-assistance organization, facilitated the donation.

Ambulances are a critical part of the work of Magen David Adom, which responds to terrorist attacks in Israel, provides disaster relief to people in need and offers blood services.

From left: David Labkovski Project board members Connie Marco and Laura Beth Sholkoff, UCLA professor Judea Pearl, project founder Leora Raikin, board member and archivist Frayda Salkin, education director Stephanie Wolfson and board member Lisa Lainer Faigan attend an exhibition at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. Photo by courtesy of Stephanie Bien

The David Labkovski Project rounded out its second year of bringing Holocaust education to area students, Jewish and otherwise, with a June 1 student-curated art exhibition and ceremony at the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa.

The project uses the art of Holocaust survivor David Labkovski to help students explore the Holocaust. It debuted last year at the Multicultural Learning Center, an elementary school in Canoga Park. This year, it expanded to four schools, including Loyola Marymount University.

UCLA Professor Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, after whom the school was named, opened the June 1 event by speaking about the importance of remembering the Holocaust.

Afterward, Leora Raikin, Labkovski’s grandniece and the project’s founder, accepted honors from the Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the California State Assembly.

The David Labkovski Project allows students to curate from some 300 pieces by the late Safed-based painter, who depicted life in Vilnius, Lithuania, both before and after World War II, and his experiences later in a Soviet prison camp. After the war, Labkovski immigrated with his wife, Rivka, to Israel. He died in 1991.

Each school put a unique spin on the program. Students at the Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School created digital audio guides, while students at Loyola Marymount built an interactive website. At the Multicultural Learning Center, a bilingual charter school, students explained the artwork in Spanish and English.

The program has reached some 150 students, a large number of whom are non-Jews who heard about the Holocaust for the first time through the project.

— Eitan Arom, Staff Writer

David Myers

David Myers, the Sady and Ludwig Kahn professor of Jewish history at UCLA and the inaugural director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy, has been named CEO and president of the Center for Jewish History in New York, effective July 1.

“I burn with passion to study Jewish history,” Myers said. “It’s what I love doing. I am blessed beyond imagination to be able to do this, to be able to study Jewish history, which is ceaselessly fascinating.”

At the Center for Jewish History, Myers will oversee what is the largest archive of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel. Dedicated to history, culture and art, the museum is a collaborative home for five partner organizations: the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. 

Myers, 56, a Journal contributor, will remain on the faculty of UCLA, his academic home for 25 years. He will live in Los Angeles during the 2017-2018 academic year and then move to New York.

He has written extensively on modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history, and earned a doctorate in Jewish history from Columbia University in 1991. He began as a lecturer at UCLA the same year.

Myers and his wife, Nomi Stolzenberg, a USC law professor, live in Pico-Robertson. They are the parents of three daughters, two of whom live in New York.

Myers expressed ambivalence about leaving UCLA but said it was time for him to move on to the next chapter in his career.

“I love UCLA. It’s been an extraordinary place to be and work and grow, and I could easily have decided not to make this move,” he said. “But I find the opportunity and challenge to be so exciting, it seemed like this was the time to try something new.”

Moving & Shaking highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email ryant@jewishjournal.com.

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